Calvin's sensitivity to bovine protein

I took my little Calvin to the gastroenterology clinic at the Children’s Hospital last Wednesday afternoon. After a month of exclusively breastfeeding him, I discovered green poo with little streaks of blood in his diaper in December. This sent me into a panic, and so Mark and I Googled the matter to see what we could find. We took Calvin to the CLSC the next morning, where the doctor informed us that it didn’t seem urgent. However, our web research suggested that it might be a sensitivity to cow protein commonly found in dairy products and beef, so we cut these immediately from my diet (well, I don’t eat meat anyway, so I really just cut dairy). Here are a couple of sites that were referred y a friend of mine. You might find them useful if this situation pertains to you or someone you know:

After meeting with Calvin’s regular doctor, we were advised to cut soy and eggs from the diet as well. This was really difficult, and believe me, you don’t miss certain things until they’re taken away from you! I suddenly got cravings for ice cream, croissants, tofu, and cream in my coffee! And of course, this affected Mark’s eating habits as well and resulted in a lot of creative cooking and label-reading. The good news is that I didn’t gain any weight over the Christmas / New Year holiday period, mostly because I couldn’t eat the great stuff at all the holiday feasts. L Every once in awhile a green poo would show up again and I’d have to think back to what I ate 24 hours before – inevitably it would be something that had dairy or soy in it that I inadvertently ingested. Then about 2 months ago, I ate something with eggs in the ingredients and no reaction. Hmm, let’s try more food with eggs as an ingredient. No reaction! A shopping trip to IKEA allowed the opportunity to have scrambled eggs (but no croissant yet!) with toast and a coffee for a buck! Last month as we were eating breakfast, Mark noticed that the peanut butter I had been spreading on my toast each morning for the past several weeks, contained soybean oil as the second ingredient! What! So for lunch that day I had a stir-fry with shoyu (soya sauce) all over it! No green poops from Calvin. Woohoo!

I’m currently off of dairy products still, and will continue to stay off of it for another 4 months as a result of the advice of the physician at the Children’s. I figure this is a small sacrifice to make for the health of my beautiful baby! He’s being followed up until the fall, and I have been assigned to a dietitian who will be following my progress as well. Here’s a photo of Calvin taken just today:

The appointment went well. It seems Calvin is getting over his sensitivities gradually, although his skin shows that he still has some sensitivities. Calvin has eczema, poor thing. I found this great line of products that works well with him, called Bug & Pickle. They make organic products for babies (and mommies), and they’re Canadian. I’m using the Baby Butter and the Head-to-Toe Baby Wash. Best of all, they smell so yummy!

I read somewhere that 5% of North American babies have bovine protein sensitivity, so this is actually a really common diagnosis that we don’t hear a lot about. It’s great having the support and counsel of the staff at the Children’s and I would highly recommend that any of you in the same situation get a referral from your doctor so you can consult this fantastic team!